The Wayne State Softball team was picked 12th with 73 points in the 2019 NSIC Preseason Softball Coaches Poll. The Wildcats are coming off of a rough 2018 season with a record of 16-29, finishing 11th in the NSIC with a league record of 10-16. WSC will open up the 2019 softball season Friday February 15th.
For the 2019 season the Wildcats have added seven new players that are all freshmen (Kourtney Buresch, Shelby Brodkorb, Kim Vidlak, Michaela Smith, Makenna Adkison, Ashley Bohannon, Kam Sparks) and also have seven returning seniors (Alyx Hagen, Abbie Hix, Baylee Rial, Morgan Vasa, Emily Chandler, Riley Vanderveen, Taylor Menard). WSC has five returning starters from the 2018 season going into this year on the field, and two returning starting pitchers from the 2018 season.
“Preparing for this year compared to last year, we have better resources that has improved our hitting overall as a team,” senior outfielder Vasa said. “We have HitTrax where we can hit in a cage and monitors your swing to make it look like you are on an actual field. It is really benefi-cial because this year when we are limited to only doing stuff inside, we are still improving and getting somewhat of a feel for moving balls.”
Senior first baseman Chandler and sophomore pitcher Maddie Moser were picked as Wildcat Players to Watch in the NSIC for the 2019 season.
Chandler, from Simi Valley, California was selected as the Wildcat Position Player to Watch this season as well. Chandler also earned First Team All-NSIC honors for the second time in three seasons last year, leading the team in RBI (43), batting average (.392), and was second in home runs on the 2018 season with seven.
Moser, a right handed pitcher from Central City, was selected as the Wildcat Pitcher to Watch for the 2019 season after recording a 6-11 record with a 6.02 ERA in the 2018 season as a freshman. In her 21 starts as pitcher, Moser had five complete games, including one shutout, while also recording one save and lead the team in strikeouts with 52.
New drills have been implemented by the coaching staff into the Wildcats practices from last year, and the team also has new individual and team goals.
“We are constantly doing new things from last year and previous years, we focus on new drills and skills that the coaching staff works with us on almost every day,” senior infielder Hix said. “For hitting we have set goals and if we do not reach the goals we have, punishments are implemented as motivation and to teach us to continue to work on our weaknesses and to be-come more confident with the tasks we struggle with as a team and individually.”
The Wildcats are constantly working to improve on skills, and are looking to build on last year’s season with the help from a new incoming class, experienced returning players and a motivated coaching staff.
“Our team meshes really well together and we all bring our own strengths to the table where one person may lack, someone else is there to pick it up,” Vasa said. “I think compared to last year we will be a very decent head strong team and a hard working coaching staff. We have a lot of powerful hitters and our speed has definitely improved this year.”
Wayne State will officially kick off the 2019 season on Friday, February 15th at the Ar-kansas Monticello/8-State Classic in Bentonville, Arkansas. The Wildcats will compete against non-conference components, Missouri Western and Mississippi College.